Institutional Variation in Enrollment of Low-Income Students: The Role of Prices, Financial Aid Policies and Selectivity
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Socioeconomic diversity in tertiary education has come under increased scrutiny over the past few years. Policy makers and practitioners within higher education have devoted greater attention to encouraging more low-income students to pursue a college degree. This paper estimates the influence of prices (both sticker-price and net price), financial aid policies, and selectivity on the matriculation decisions of low-income students, across postsecondary institutions. All three factors are significant in determining the representation of Pell grant recipients as a percent of an institution’s entering class. A focus on net price, while important, ignores the significant influence of sticker-price (shock), selectivity, and financial aid policies on low-income students’ enrollment decisions, particularly at private institutions.
higher education; low-income students; enrollment; tuition; financial aid
Required Publisher Statement: Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, ILR School, Cornell University.